Thai Poosam Kavadi Festival

Palani Dhandayudhapani temple is the location where the famous “Thai poosam” festival takes place in a very grand manner. Celebrations are concentrated in the temples, where serious devotees have been known to prove their devotion by piercing their chests and backs with needles and hooks, while others engage in fire-walking. Having close association with the Deepavali festival, Karthigai Deepam is hailed as the oldest celebrations of Tamil Nadu. Essentially a festival of lights, it marks the full moon of Kaarthigai month and continues for nine days.

The domestic arena of the state also sees some colorful arrangements with 'Kolams' (Rangoli) and various other household activities. Thaipusam is celebrated during January/February, that is, during the Tamil month of Thai. On the previous day, the deity, Lord Murugan, is taken on a procession in the Silver Chariot, to Layan Sithi Vinayagar temple, and returns in the evening followed by Chettiar Kavadies and other devotees. This event is popularly called as Chetty Pusam in Singapore. On Thaipusam day, hundreds of devotees offer prayers, either by piercing their chest with spikes and lemon, pulling a chariot from Srinivasa Perumal Temple, or carrying Kavadis. The devotees offer their prayers and fulfill their vows. The Vel (holy spear) in the sanctum is showered with milk continuously for hours. Several Chinese devotees and people of other religion and races also come to fulfill their vows on this day. The most remarkable feature of this festival is the parading devout 'Bhaktas' (devotees) bearing Kavadis.

The yellow robed 'Bhaktas' coming from several distant places dance their way through the streets to reach the Muruga Sannidhi to the accompaniment of music, both instrumental and vocal. Many strangely and ghastly traditions, like the lips pierced with mini silver lance, and locking of the mouth with metal ring to maintain perfect silence and drawing of small make shift chariot with its chain hooked into the back of devotees strike the eye of spectator during the festival.

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